I hadn’t read or heard much about this book, and this was one of those books that I bought because of its beautiful cover and the blurb. That context instantly drew me in, because who wouldn’t want to read more about a world where ‘binders’ live, where memories could be forgotten or locked away? I instantly thought of ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’, and bought the book, since I loved the movie so much!
If you haven’t read the book yet, there may be some ‘spoiler-y’ thoughts in this post. So if you just want my brief opinion, well then, I had mixed feelings about the book. I really liked a part of the book, but not the whole of it. It left me quite unsatisfied, in the end.
Now, for more of my thoughts on the book:
Plot: I don’t know if this book has been categorised as general adult fiction or adult fantasy. From the blurb, I felt that the book might be adult fantasy, with all those keywords about book bindings and magic. But if it was adult fantasy, then in terms of the plot, I felt it was a bit of a let down. We are told so much about this mysterious business of binders, who are ‘wrongly’ called or treated as witches, but there are just very high level hints about what it takes to be a binder, where do the binders get their powers from, are they witches or other magical creatures, who are the other binders..I had so many questions and I felt quite unsatisfied with the amount of information provided about binders, considering that was the central theme of the book. There was a mention of something called ‘The Crusade’, but nothing more is told to us about it. But if binding was just a magical realism element of the story, while the actual plot was about a star crossed love story, well then, maybe the plot makes more sense.
Characters: I loved and was completely involved in Lucian and Emmett’s characters and their story. This is an LGBTQ romance, and in hindsight, I felt, the love story was the heart of the book. We get to know a lot about Emmett in the first act of the story, then we get to know about Lucian and Emmett’s story in the second act (which was my favourite part of the book) and then finally we get to know about Lucian in the third and final act. That said, there were many other characters, but everyone felt unexplored. There was just one positive character in Seredith, who is introduced in the start, but I felt like she is just dropped suddenly, without any purpose in the story. It was the same with Alta, Emmett’s sister and some other characters who were just introduced, and then dropped. And there were so many hateful characters, I would’ve really liked to see at least one of them get some sort of punishment that they deserved, but nothing happens to any of the evil characters in the book. That frustrated me a lot.
Overall: I really liked the love story, and the chemistry between Lucian and Emmett was palpable and drew me in. But other than that, the book was really dark and the ending left me unsatisfied, because I wanted justice for all the wrongs done to characters in the book, that I didn’t get. I don’t know if Bridget Collins is planning on a sequel to the book, but I would really like to read a sequel where Emmett learns that he has some powers and can use that to make all the bad people pay! heheh 😀 The writing was beautiful and lyrical, no doubt about that, but the first act felt really slow to me, with the author finding different ways to talk about how much pain Emmett was in, this mysterious binder’s fever that is never explained, and all the cold. I get it, it was very cold, but really, there was just too much emphasis on the weather being cold and these kids not having anything to wear or eat to ward off the cold..lol 😀
Questions to you guys:
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts on it?
When you read a dark book about really bad things happening to people, do you want some sort of justice for the evil, or are you OK with an open ending where the world just goes on being crappy?